Siberian no-frills supermarket to to open in Preston

The Russians are coming...

By Simon Drury
Saturday, 8th May 2021, 2:40 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th May 2021, 2:42 pm
No frills at Russia's answer to Lidl
No frills at Russia's answer to Lidl

A food discounter founded in Russia with 3,200 stores internationally is to open its first UK branch in Preston

Svetofor was founded in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia in 2009 and has been opening stores in Europe since 2018 under the name Mere.

The business has stores in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine, with plans for more soon in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria as well as the UK.

Suppliers are being approached about four planned UK stores, including two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot, and two in the north of England, in Preston and Castleford. The first, in a former Nisa in Preston’s Ribbleton, is scheduled to open next month, according to Mere UK head of buying Pavels Antonovs.

Each store will be about 10,000 sq ft, and will include a walk-in chiller room and “huge freezer”, allowing multi-temperature ranges to be sold directly from the pallets on which they arrive, reports food industry magazine The Grocer.

Each store is to have a maximum of eight staff, including a director, four cashiers and three to handle deliveries.~

“We are the gap in the market,” said Antonovs. “We don’t have any competitors.

“Our model is no service and no marketing.”

“Some will understand us, some won’t. There are already around 30 business that will 70% fill our shops.

“On 13 March, we opened a store in Latvia and the queue outside was 570 people. In Germany, when we opened our first store, it had been bought out [of stock] in two days.”